Lawyer to IIP-SARS: Police beat Ovoke till he died

  • No, victim jumped off moving police vehicle and died-IPO By Emma Okereh

A Complainant’s lawyer at the on-going IIP-SARS, Onome Okorozegbo, in the case of alleged extra-judicial killing of one Mr. Ovoke Godwin Onomrerhino on Wednesday told the panel that Mr. Ovoke was beaten to death by a team of police officers led by Inspector Kabari Tambari.

Okorozegbo who stated this while cross-examining the Investigation Police Officer (IPO), Inspector Tambari, told the 11-Member panel chaired by Justice Suleiman Galadima (rtd) that autopsy report on Ovoke showed that he died of anaemia as a result of injury around his trunk.

The petitioner’s counsel observed that the IPO and his team killed Ovoke following a misunderstanding involving his father (Ovoke’s father) in their community and not as a result of the jumping down from a moving police vehicle, as was alleged by Inspector Tambari, Sgt. Musa Sunday and Sgt. Lucky Okuku.

She rejected a medical report produced by Inspector Tambari which she noted was not signed by any medical officer. According to the lawyer, Inspector Tambari obtained the documents while the petition was already pending before the panel. She noted that the medical report was not issued at the very time Ovoke was allegedly taken to Government Hospital , Abaraka, Delta state.

Consequently, the counsel cross-examined Sgt Musa Sunday and Sgt Lucky Okuku (police driver) and both of them testified before the panel that Ovoke jumped down from the vehicle after taking them to the location where his armed robbery gang hid two cut-to-size guns and two live cartridges in the bush.

Earlier, when the three police officers including Inspector Tambari (IPO), Sgt Sunday (Member of the investigation team), and Sgt Okuku (police driver) were separately led in their testimonies before the panel by police counsel, Fidelis Ogwobe, they said that Ovoke was on handcuff when he allegedly jumped off the moving vehicle and got injured.

Specifically, the police driver, Sgt Okuku said that immediately Ovoke jumped down from the vehicle that his other colleagues hit the body of the vehicle to alert him that something was amiss and that he immediately applied the brake and looked at the side mirror only to find the victim on the ground.

Following the incident, the driver said he reversed the vehicle, and his other colleagues sitting at the back with Ovoke before he jumped out picked him ( Ovoke) up and they went back to the police station.

When the panel inquired why Ovoke was taken to a police station instead of the hospital when he allegedly got injured, Tambari said that his superior, CSP Isah Hassan (DPO Abraka Police Station) instructed them to come back to the police station.

It was when they got to the station that the CSP saw the victim and directed them to take him to the hospital for treatment and upon arrival at the hospital, the doctor confirmed him dead before his body was deposited at a mortuary in Obiaruku, Delta state.

It would be recalled that police allegedly arrested Ovoke over an armed robbery incident in Delta state.

The police also said that while they were investigating the case, at 1.30 am in the night Ovoke made an attempt to escape from their moving vehicle and got injured in the process, which later resulted in his death.

Other respondents in the petition are CSP Isah Hassan (DPO Abraka), Mr. Odiri Emeni, Head of Igun Vigilante, Ethiope East Local Government, Delta State, Commissioner of Police, Delta State, and Inspector General of Police.

The case has been adjourned for written address by the counsel.

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